2016 YTD Review and Information Regarding Upcoming Activities and Offers
2016 has been a year in which the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association has seen many opportunities and faced some challenges. Leadership has taken advantage of several of these opportunities by initiating new programs. In addition, ORRA, as well as Central Florida and beyond, has been affected by the Pulse nightclub tragedy. As an organization, as a leadership team, and as individual members, ORRA is proud of the inspiring ways we have responded.
ORRA has added 2,416 new primary REALTOR® members so far this year — an unprecedented growth rate. We may not continue to see such growth, but ORRA is prepared to serve every member’s needs with 34 staff members available. We are making great use of the space available in our building, but we are very close to reaching maximum capacity when it comes to housing staff and services.
ORRA's current REALTOR® membership count (12,552) makes it the 11th largest local REALTOR® organization in the country and larger than more than 20 state REALTOR® associations.
Education and Professional Development
ORRA has broken all records for the number of free education opportunities provided to its members. So far in 2016, 35,616 student hours have been completed and 6,569 additional hours are scheduled and registered during the remainder of the year.
Year to date, 685 members have already completed ORRA’s Excellence in Professionalism - Gold Key Certification program. Another 480 are registered for upcoming Gold Key Certification classes (seats still available), which will bring our 2016 total to 1,165; add in the 1,145 members who completed the program in 2015 and we will hit more than 2,310 members with GKC credentials by year’s end. That’s nearly 20 percent of the entire membership!
I’m pleased to report that when ORRA had an unexpected availability in its conference center last month we hastily arranged an additional Gold Key Certification class, and it was filled in less than six hours! We followed suit with an extra two Gold Key Certification classes this month, and those were “sold out” in record time as well. Members asked, and ORRA answered!
The Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®) for Brokers class that ORRA offered at a discounted rate quickly sold out, and we also an ABR course at a discounted rate of $199 to all REALTOR® members. I also have the honor of announcing that two ORRA members will soon be installed into the Real Estate Buyer’s Agent Council (REBAC) Hall of Fame. Alison Maltby, The Anderson Group & Co., and ORRA Past President Steve Merchant, Global Realty, Inc., will be joining three existing REBAC Hall of Fame members from ORRA: IFREC (Dick Fryer), Gerald Stoffer, and me.
NAR Conference Rebate
The NAR REALTORS® Conference & Expo is in Orlando this year, and ORRA is offering rebates of 50 percent off the general registration fees (one day/whole convention). Click here to take advantage of this unprecedented offer and learn more about the conference and pricing. We believe that we are the first local REALTOR® association in the country to offer such a benefit to its members!
Boys & Girls Clubs of America
During 2016 NAR joined forces with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America to give kids a brighter future. This initiative is also ORRA’s main charitable component for 2016. So far, ORRA has contributed 30 refurbished computers, provided end-of-summer party snacks, and donated $700 that was raised by our own Young Professionals Network. ORRA even joined Orlando Signature magazine to sponsor “Barrel Night” on August 27. The Boys & Girls Clubs of America was the charity benefitting from this event, with 15 percent of ticket sales and 100 percent of the proceeds from donated auction item sales going to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida.
Pulse Nightclub Tragedy
In response to the Pulse tragedy, the ORRA Board of Directors voted to contribute up to $25,000 to the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation in support of its efforts to assist survivors with housing-related challenges. The funds were designated for relief initiatives such as those coordinated by ORRA member Christian West-Howard, Capital Homes, Inc. Other ORRA community initiatives and support included: using ORRA communications operations to provide members with a link to the City of Orlando clearinghouse site to make donations and to offer or request assistance; altering five of ORRA’s digital billboards (which typically read “Use a REALTOR®”) to read “OrlandoStrong;” hanging a large “OrlandoStrong” banner outside the ORRA building on Lee Road; and producing 1,500 “OrlandoStrong” lapel pins, which were given to ORRA members. The pin manufacturer also donated 10 percent of the pins’ cost to the victims’ fund. In addition, ORRA confidentially reached out to individual members affected by the tragedy to provide assistance through the Florida Realtors® Disaster Relief Fund, and to offer help to any of them who were engaged in their own relief efforts.
Florida Real Estate Foundation
The Florida Real Estate Foundation (soon to be known as the Orlando Regional REALTOR® Foundation) completed its initial fundraising goal of $850,000, which equals the necessary funds required to complete the construction of Heroes’ Commons at Jefferson Park, a housing initiative that will provide mortgage-free homes to six military veterans. Major donations to the project included $305,000 from the Fair Housing Continuum of Central Florida, $126,000 from ORRA, $100,000 from Dr. Phillips Charities, and $100,000 from the Wells Fargo Foundation. We look forward to our first family celebrating Christmas 2016 in their new home.
In closing, I, on behalf of your entire ORRA Board of Directors, wish to thank you for your membership and your support.
Orlando Regional REALTOR® Association